This week our publisher dreams about a deal to a mythological-sounding paradise, considers a Sicily offer you couldn’t, ahem, refuse and puts his money on a Vegas hotel that looks like a golden gambling chip
£899 -- Zanzibar: Exotic African Island Holiday, Save £190
Zanzibar: it has the ring of myth about it, and how often do you get deals to a mythological-sounding paradise? That was a rhetorical question, of course, but the answer is not very often, unless you subscribe to Travelzoo. And even then, bargains to this wee, white-sand island off the east coast of Africa will hardly be cascading into your inbox. Why? Well, partly because it’s a paradise-providers’ market. Lots of places promise everything paradisiacal short of circling angels but the problem is, the more developed they become, the less heavenly they are. Zanzibar is hardly undiscovered (a label that always foxes the native inhabitants, anyway) but there are still easily enough of those driftwood-dusted beaches and secret coves corralling emerald seas to make you feel like Brooke Shields and whatshisname from “The Blue Lagoon”.
£339 -- Sicily Half-Board Beach Holiday, Save £250
And so to Sicily, where we’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. True, this deal is so good it looks almost criminal but, despite Sicily’s mafia reputation, we’re assured it’s not. For just shy of £50 a day you’re flown out to the island and fed lunch and dinner in a 4-star hotel. In-between meals – no doubt occasionally including meatballs, rabbit stews and other stuff the guys from “Goodfellas” would have enjoyed – there is the usual beach to lounge upon and the giddy-sounding town of Marsala to explore, as well as... look, we’re obviously dying to talk about the Cosa Nostra and, frankly, every Sicily holidaymaker’s conversation will touch upon it at some point, so here’s an idea: If you can tear yourself away from the resort, seek out the cafes, restaurants and other small traders that belong to the Addiopizzo movement and bravely refuse to pay protection money to the crime syndicate that still tarnishes a truly beautiful island.
£72 -- Las Vegas: Suite at 4-Star Hotel near The Strip
What’s the most important thing about a stay in Vegas? Luck? It will run out eventually. Gaudy clothes? They’ll help you fit in. No, arguably, the first thing you should equip yourself with before a visit to the gambling Mecca is a good, cheap hotel. That way you’ll have somewhere decent to lament any sudden and unfortunate new financial developments without adding to them. And if you get lucky, you’ll have somewhere grand to invite all those friendly folks you met around the black jack table for a party. Apart from the exceptional price it is offering to Travelzoo subscribers – 40% off rates at comparable 4-star hotels – the Signature at MGM Grand doesn’t really stick out in Vegas. Which is to say it would stick out anywhere else. Literally: its three towers in luminescent gold thrust into the Vegas sky like so many special chips offered to a favoured billionaire gambler.